Stars: Andrew Lincoln, David Morrissey, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Michael Rooker, Melissa Suzanne McBride, Scott Wilson, Emily Kinney, Dallas Roberts
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Suggested Retail Price: $79.99
With the showrunner turnover at THE WALKING DEAD occurring practically every season, you would think the series would suffer creatively and tonally, but as Season 3 of the AMC series proved, the story is compelling and strong enough to withstand occasional creative disruptions.
THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON compiles all 16 episodes from the shocking arc that pitted Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group holing up in the Prison against the idyllic community known as Woodbury run be the deceptively charming The Governor (David Morrissey).
Much was written about the season’s back and forth between the two groups and whether it slowed down the pace, but for me, it was an expert balance. We really get to see The Governor as a caring figurehead for Woodbury, until we dig deeper into his dark side (he has a zombie daughter he hasn’t told anyone about and keeps the severed zombie heads of important people he’s killed in a private aquarium).
As the season progresses, the Governor lives up to his comic book namesake by going deeper and deeper into madness and resulting in an assault on the Prison which goes horribly awry.
Seeing the ways both Rick and the Governor deal with leadership and some of the questionable decisions both make is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the season.
Add to that the various “surprise” deaths that haunt the characters throughout the season and THE WALKING DEAD delivers on all fronts.
It’s not hard to give THE WALKING DEAD the title of the best horror show that’s ever graced the small screen. It looks and feels like a feature film every week, and by using Robert Kirkman’s comic book as a guide, not the rule, it’s allowed for some great detours along the way.
One of the more bittersweet aspects of the season is the massive growing up Rick’s son Carl (Chandler Riggs) has had to endure, especially with the loss of his mother this season (at his hands, no less). Many shows try to delve deep into the loss of innocence, but unfortunately most fail to really showcase it in a believable and exploitative way.
We also get to know Michonne (Danai Gurira) and how her relationship with Andrea (Laurie Holden) develops. Michonne was one of the most requested characters to join the series and she is a welcome addition to the cast, though it takes time for the writers to finally get her to warm up to the cast and the audience as well.
THE WALKING DEAD strikes that balance and also strives hard to keep even noble figurehead Rick free from gray areas.
The Bonus Features on the disc are plentiful featuring eight featurettes covering everything from Michonne and the Governor and more behind-the-scenes zombie 101 creations.
Commentary is also provided on five of the 16 episodes as well as deleted scenes which should be a boon for die-hard fans.
With THE TALKING DEAD after-show becoming a mainstay with THE WALKING DEAD, it would have been nice to have all those episodes compiled with the set as well, but then the mark-up price probably would have been too high. Still, those episodes hosted by Chris Hardwick are informative and illuminate the sometimes controversial series.
THE WALKING DEAD returns in October, and while it’s hard to imagine how they can top Season Three, it will be nice to see where the story leads (and hopefully that won’t mean half the cast will be dead by the end of Season 4 either).
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Related Link: TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD – Season 2 – “Better Angels”
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Related Link: TV Review – THE WALKING DEAD – Season 2 – “Secrets”
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Related Link: ASSIGNMENT X’s complete Season 1 episode guide
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Blu-ray Review: THE WALKING DEAD – THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON